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Comparison of dissolved oxygen and aquatic biota between a State 303(d)-listed stream segment and USGS biological reference sites in the San Jacinto River Basin, Texas, 2000

Fact Sheet 063-02

In cooperation with the Houston-Galveston Area Council
By:

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Abstract

About 30 percent of the 238 water bodies on the 2000 State of Texas 303(d) list of impaired or threatened waters are included for not meeting optimum conditions for aquatic life (Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, 2000). Most of the water bodies on the list were assessed using water-column measures such as concentrations of dissolved oxygen (DO) and total metals as surrogates for aquatic biological data. Many water bodies were listed because of low concentrations of DO or potentially toxic dissolved metals such as lead; ambient toxicity to nonresident (laboratory) aquatic organisms also could have been a reason for listing. The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) has emphasized the use of aquatic biological data to determine if a water body should be included or removed from the 303(d) list.

The standards used to determine whether a water body should be on the State 303(d) list generally are statewide standards that have not been adjusted for regional or watershed-scale differences that reflect variability across Texas. Such is the case for DO, which is one of the more common surrogate measures used in the listing of stream segments that do not meet optimum conditions for aquatic life. The statewide minimum concentration of DO to meet optimal conditions for aquatic life is 5.0 milligrams per liter. Many water bodies in Texas with few, if any, anthropogenic influences might have DO concentrations below 5.0 milligrams per liter, especially in the late summer when water temperatures peak and streamflows are at minimums for the year. 

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Comparison of dissolved oxygen and aquatic biota between a State 303(d)-listed stream segment and USGS biological reference sites in the San Jacinto River Basin, Texas, 2000
Series title:
Fact Sheet
Series number:
063-02
Year Published:
2002
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Contributing office(s):
Texas Water Science Center
Description:
HTML Document; Report: 6 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Texas
Other Geospatial:
San Jacinto River Basin